One of Author Anna Katharine Green's innovations was the idea of the "girl detective," in the person of
Violet Strange. Violet was a 17-year-old high-society debutante who led a double
life as a sleuth, working for an unnamed detective agency to discreetly ferret out
solutions to mysteries that could not be trusted to the police. The short stories in
this collection give us a glimpse into New York society, filled with musicales and
teas and ballgowns, but neither the tales nor Violet are light-hearted and fluffy.
Happy endings aren't guaranteed, and we're often left with a sense of
melancholy. Some of the stories are even a bit macabre. But over a century later,
the well-plotted, legally-accurate yarns still satisfy one's desire for solid
resolutions to seemingly insoluble mysteries.